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Thread: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

  1. #1
    Nicolas Belokurov
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    High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    Hello board,
    I'm using Tmax 100 for all my 4x5 landscaping needs. So far I've been using Jobo+Tmax RS and John Sexton's method for developing it with great (at least for my needs) results.
    However, I have several shots in mind where I could benefit from any additional latitude. I'd like to get the flattest, widest in terms of DR and most fine grained negs as possible in high contrast situations (think about glacial surface, snow/rock combinations and such things). After doing a search online I found two direct solutions in Sexton publications and several additional ideas. They are the following:
    1). High contrast compensating development described by Mr. Sexton in a pdf available online
    2). 1+15 dilution and EI 50 described by Sexton in "A few Ideas on using Kodak Tmax films successfully"
    3). Stand or semi-stand development in diluted developer.

    So, here are my questions:

    1). I'd try directly the method n1 but I don't have access to a dark room and any tray processing I might try should be small enough to fit inside my reloading tent. I thought about making a very small tray for just one neg at a time and a mini slosher but would appreciate any info about the minimal tray size for a single 4x5 in order to avoid any undesired effects of the developer bouncing from the walls.
    2). The n2 describes a diluted Tmax RS, EI 50 and high contrast scenario, but uses trays once again. So, I was thinking about trying this method in a Jobo 2521 tank, perhaps adding some more liquid to my usual 270ml preparation (maintaining the 1+15 suggested by Sexton) and reducing the rotation speed after the first minutes of development. Any thoughts on that?
    What if I expose the film for EI50, use 1+15 solution and develop it for 13min at 75F like recommended for trays but using the Jobo at P speed as I usually do?
    3). I might try semi or stand development in my tent (I know it's awkward but anyway, just for one neg it might work) but currently only have Tmax RS developer. I can make a hanger for 4x5 film and use a plastic container for vertical film placement but couldn't find ANY info about semi or stand development using Tmax RS and Tmax film. Perhaps even load the neg to the 2509n spiral, load it to the Jobo tank and rock it slightly when agitation is needed... Would appreciate any info on that item too.

    Thanks in advance,
    Best regards!

  2. #2

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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    "I'd like to get the flattest, widest in terms of DR and most fine grained negs as possible in high contrast situations (think about glacial surface, snow/rock combinations and such things). After doing a search online I found two direct solutions in Sexton publications and several additional ideas."

    You might find this thread interesting, entitled Anyone Using Divided Pyrocat as a Compensating Developer?

    Scenes like the ones you describe should be fairly easy to accommodate, the grain should be remarkably fine, and the negatives will have superb acutance. Also, the procedure is very simple and fast. Don't believe me (or the sample images shown in the thread). Find out for yourself.

  3. #3
    Nicolas Belokurov
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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    "I'd like to get the flattest, widest in terms of DR and most fine grained negs as possible in high contrast situations (think about glacial surface, snow/rock combinations and such things). After doing a search online I found two direct solutions in Sexton publications and several additional ideas."

    You might find this thread interesting, entitled Anyone Using Divided Pyrocat as a Compensating Developer?

    Scenes like the ones you describe should be fairly easy to accommodate, the grain should be remarkably fine, and the negatives will have superb acutance. Also, the procedure is very simple and fast. Don't believe me (or the sample images shown in the thread). Find out for yourself.
    Hello Ken, thank you for the info. After seeing a lot of examples on the web I'm convinced that the Pyrocat developer gives great result but I happen to live in a very remote area and can't fetch it easily. I do have several bottles of Tmax RS that I usually use, so my first option is the "off the shelf" developer.
    Thanks again

  4. #4
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    I would agree with Ken that a pyro dev may be what you are looking for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    "I'd like to get the flattest, widest in terms of DR and most fine grained negs as possible in high contrast situations (think about glacial surface, snow/rock combinations and such things). After doing a search online I found two direct solutions in Sexton publications and several additional ideas."

    You might find this thread interesting, entitled Anyone Using Divided Pyrocat as a Compensating Developer?

    Scenes like the ones you describe should be fairly easy to accommodate, the grain should be remarkably fine, and the negatives will have superb acutance. Also, the procedure is very simple and fast. Don't believe me (or the sample images shown in the thread). Find out for yourself.

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    I do a lot of this kind of work, but use PMK pyro in trays. If you do rotary processing you'll
    want a different pyro tweak less suceptible to oxidation. TMRS is an excellent developer but less forgiving in the highlights when printing onto silver gelatin paper, either graded or
    VC. I generally prefer the better edge effect of TMY400 to TMX100, but either one will
    give you sparkle way up into the highlights and good shadow separation way way down,
    provided you precisely meter for the situation and properly develop. I rate both films at
    published speed, and place the deepest shadow with detail often below Zone II. If you
    use a red filter to accentuate texture in snow, use a 3-stop filter factor. I'm headed to the
    high country next week with TMY. Very dependable stuff.

  6. #6
    David Schaller
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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    You could use the Jobo tank and agitate by hand. That's what I do. It does take a lot of liquid, but you are talking about a dilute solution anyway. This also has the advantage of being testable with roll film in a smaller tank to work out your time and agitation without burning a lot of sheets of 4x5. FWIW I do just 6 inversions initially, then 3 inversions every minute thereafter, albeit with different films and developers which may be less finicky than the Tmax ones. But I still get even development on 6 sheets in the Jobo 2521 tank.
    Dave

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    You give up a lot when you resort to "minus" development, namely, some of that crisp
    micro-contrast which makes the scene sparkle. I have no problem shooting dark volcanic
    rock with brightly lit snow or glacial polish and holding detail in the entire range. The secret is using films with a steep toe, metering accurately for the shadows, and having the necessary practice with pyro developer. TMax films will do this, though overexposure might blow out the highlights with TMX100. I shoot in the mtns a lot and almost never need minus development. But how do you intend to print these? That is also a factor. A premium VC paper might let you get away with TMRS developer if you know how to "split print". I have lately printed some of my old pre-pyro negatives sucessfully on the newer
    papers. VC papers are far better than they once were, even better than most graded.

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    Quote Originally Posted by NicolasArg View Post
    I have several shots in mind where I could benefit from any additional latitude.
    You might want to re-think that. Tmax 100 can get hold about 14 stops and if you want to show them all on a number one or 2 paper, just process for less time in your usual developer. However, unless you are photographing light sources with high contrast lenses, I don't think you will get 14 stops on the film plane.

    It is probably not that you need 'additional latitude,' I'd heed what Drew posted above.

  9. #9

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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    See if artcraft will send you some catecol and metol. Then you can mix pyrocat m very inexpensivly for a very very long time. You need very little of each. The other ingredients are available easily. You can use washing soda for part B. Sodium metabisulfite is used by home brewers to sterilise things.

  10. #10
    Nicolas Belokurov
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    Re: High contrast scenes with Tmax 100 and Tmax RS

    Thank you gentlemen for all the valuable info and advice on this topick. I'm sorry for the delay but I wanted to try several tests with diluted Tmax RS before getting into a new developer.
    During the last several days I've exposed several sheet at EI50 and developed them in very diluted Tmax RS making some adjustments to my usual time. So far I'm liking a lot what I get.
    Anyway I agree with the point stated above about the +10 stops of Tmax being usually enough for the vast majority of landscape subjects I currently explore.
    Thanks again,
    Nicolas.

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